- Oceans Blog
Offshore Oil and Gas
The offshore oil and gas industry is becoming increasingly important as global energy consumption continues to grow, land-based reserves decline and reliance on international supplies brings with it increasing vulnerability to political control of price and supply as well as to disruption by terrorist acts. The major players are primarily multinational companies which are typically involved in multiple projects around the world at any one time. These companies are increasingly obliged to search for new reserves in more remote and more challenging environments including deep water areas. Technology development is driven by special needs imposed by these environments, ongoing pressure to reduce costs and to enhance reliability as well as by regulatory requirements pertaining to safety and environmental protection. This is a very technology-intensive industry and the multinational companies involved tend to deal with established suppliers and proven technologies.
Ocean Renewable Energy
Declining reserves of conventional hydrocarbon fuels and pressures to reduce greenhouse gas production have highlighted the importance of harnessing renewable, non-polluting sources of energy. The oceans represent a great and largely untapped source of such energy in the form of waves, tides, currents, coastal winds and thermal gradients within the water column. Developing cost-effective technologies to convert this mechanical and thermal energy into electricity or other forms of energy that can be readily utilized is one of the major development challenges. The remoteness of much of these resources around the globe also presents major challenges. Inaccessibility to existing transmission grids and other supporting infrastructure will require innovative new approaches in getting this energy to market and ensuring long-term reliability. Near-shore wind farms also present an attractive source of renewable, green energy. While these are already being established in some readily accessible coastal regions, development in other locations presents a range of challenges.
Subsectors under Offshore Energy are: